I read a lot last week but also had a busy week at work (a good busy). Every time I tried to write a review on one of these books, all of them good, I just didn’t have the time or energy. So here’s a big update dump of the stuff I read in the last week and I’d be glad to tease them out more in the comments if anyone is curious…
“The True History of the Kelly Gang”
I enjoyed large parts of this and I get why folks find it to be such a beautiful read. The writing is excellent; I especially enjoyed what Carey did with Ned Kelly’s voice. However, the stories felt redundant after a while and by the end, I was just running out the clock. 4 stars is for the overall excellence in writing.
After being disappointed with the initial entry in the series, I fell in love with this one. A sparse thriller that doubles as a locked room mystery read. Hilarious and entertaining. One of the better Stark novels I’ve read in either the Parker or Grofield series respectively.
The cop angle is familiar and needlessly cliched but I loved Stallings’ take on neurodiversity and the challenges of communicating with someone who is intellectually disabled. He makes it clear that the challenge is not with Cisco, who feels like a fully realized character, but with others. Pack that into an LA crime tale (with some historical notes on east LA) and it works very well.
The sexism is dialed up a little more than it is in the first two. I figured such would be the case when I started the series, but it still irks me. Otherwise, this is another entertaining Quarry entry. Fun, sparse, and clever.
“Pretty As A Picture”
Second time was the charm for this one. I had to get used to the protagonist’s voice but once I could appreciate her neurodiversity, I understood what the writer was trying to do and she does it well. A good thriller for cinephiles.
Gosh dang, these books are good. Like if John Grisham wrote a Better Call Saul movie only if he stuck it in New York and made Saul a moralist. Much of it is schlocky cliches but I just love reading how Eddie Flynn operates. He’s a hustler and that makes the book fun.